Charitable Trusts

About the Charitable Trust Program

The Charitable Trust Program registers entities holding income-producing assets in excess of $250,000 (market value) invested and allocated to support a charitable purpose in accordance with the terms and conditions of the trust instrument.

General information about charitable trusts can be obtained by calling the Charities Program at 1-800-332-4483 (toll free within Washington State.) Local or out-of-state callers may contact the Trust Program at (360) 725-0378.

Does My Organization Need to Register with the Charitable Trust Program?

Summary of Registration Requirements

"The purpose of this chapter is to facilitate public supervision over the administration of public charitable trusts and similar relationships and to clarify and implement the powers and duties of the attorney general and the secretary of state with relation thereto." (RCW 11.110.010)


  • A charitable trust is any entity holding income-producing assets, in excess of $250,000 dollars (market value), invested to support a charitable, religious, eleemosynary, benevolent, educational, or similar purpose.
  • When operating under Washington State jurisdiction, such entities are required to register with the Office of the Secretary of State, Charitable Trust Program.


  • Within four months of its inception, a charitable trust must file the Application for Registration as a Charitable Trust, a copy of the trust instrument, and a $25 dollar filing fee made payable to the Secretary of State.
  • A charitable trust must file annually a charitable trust renewal form, its most recent completed federal information return and a $25 filing fee by the eleventh month following its fiscal year-end.
  • A charitable trust is required to report any amendments to the instrument within four months of the making of the amendment.


  • Any entity recognized, by the Internal Revenue Service, as a religious organization.
  • Any entity whose charitable assets are in the nature of a remainder.
  • Any accredited institute of public education.

Fee Schedule

Common Reasons Documents are Returned

  • Missing or insufficient filing or late fee
  • IRS Letter of Determination is not included
  • Incomplete line items on application
  • Application was not signed or dated
  • Charitable Trust Renewal did not include a copy of the IRS Form 990, 990EZ, 990PF